May 4, 2006
Ex-Formula 1 boss awarded £75,000
Libel jury exceeds judge's direction on damages
Tony Purnell, former Principal of the Jaguar Racing formula one team, has been awarded £75,000 libel damages by a jury at the High Court in London.
The libel was published in Business F1 magazine which is owned and edited by Tom Rubython. The magazine falsely alleged that Mr Purnell had bribed a journalist to give him positive coverage regarding his performance at Jaguar Racing.
The Defendants (Business F1 Magazine Limited and Tom Rubython) had claimed that the article was true, but their justification defence had been struck out by Mr Justice Eady at an earlier hearing on 14 March 2006.
At the conclusion of the trial on the remaining issue of quantum Mr Justice Gray directed the jury that an appropriate award for both general and aggravated damages would be within the band of £25,000 to £60,000. However, the jury returned a verdict for £75,000.
5RB‘s William Bennett (instructed by Steeles) was sole counsel for Mr Purnell.